5 YouTube Channels I'm Loving

Eleventh Gorgeous

These sisters are beauty/lifestyle gurus and incredibly entertaining the watch! As self-proclaimed drugstore girls, they have introduced me to some of the best products I've used. 

The DeFranco Family

This family vlog stars a precious little man and his mom who is basically #RealMomGoals.

Tati AKA Glam Life Guru

Need to see a review of a beauty product you're interested in? This girl will have it! I don't know if there is anyone on YouTube who strives to test every product out there as much as she does.

Carly Cristman

With Carly, you'll find sarcasm, humor, and incredible style all rolled into one. Honestly, if she wore  something other than black and white, I'd copy her whole wardrobe. 

YouTube_4.jpg

Hello October

My favorite YouTuber from across the pod! Her style is a tad more luxury, but her style tips are excellent. I especially love her vlogs around Brighton.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Thoughts about my First Bracket and  Binging Podcasts is the New Black

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Thoughts about my First Bracket

The morning of March 16th, I woke up to a Facebook Group invite to an "All Girls Bracket". This was something a few friends and I chatted about in a group text the night before. Our husbands were all in multiple brackets and we decided we wanted apart of the action. The stakes: a bottle of wine. Needless to say, we were very invested.

We agree not to take it too seriously, allowing ourselves to choose teams based off silly things like their colors. According to ESPN and CBS, brackets would be locked in by noon EST that day, so I printed a bracket and grabbed my pen.

After a quick moment of examining the teams on the bracket and trying to remember what I knew about college basketball outside of the Big12, I chose my winner. From there, I filled out the rest of my bracket. It started easy, usually choosing the higher ranked team. But when I hit the Sweet 16, I realized upsets are a guarantee every year. (see a 2015 ISU game for reference). So I began to mix it up more. In the end, I had North Caroline winning. I took a picture and uploaded it to our Facebook group.

Once my bracket was completed, I set my it aside and moved on with my day. It wasn't until 6 hours and 5 games later that I received a message. I had chosen the winner of all 5 games so far! I was equal parts shocked and excited. I was hooked. A few hours later, I was checking scores of games with teams I had never heard of before. I was having so much fun. Despite the silliness of it all, it was quite thrilling to be invested in this culture affair for the first time.

Yes, that is right. I never filled out a bracket before this year. Honestly, it never appealed to me. I didn’t see the value of investing X amount of dollars into something that couldn't hold my attention. So I was very surprised when I saw how much fun I was having with March Madness.

Below are some phrases I uttered multiple times throughout the last few weeks.

"I knew I should have picked Northwestern! My bracket is screwed now!"

"I can't believe Iowa State lost…"

"Am I actually rooting for Kansas right now?"

"Three of my Final Four teams are out already!"

"Well at least North Carolina is still in it."

"Oh My God! I won!"

And I did, I really did. I actually won my first bracket! It was just so much fun than I ever expected. My friends and I fully plan on doing this again next week (same stakes of course!)

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Binging Podcasts is the New Black and Must-Follow Instagram Accounts

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Binging Podcasts is the New Black

For the longest time, I thought podcasts were just another version on NPR. Something I had no interest in and saw no reason to look into it. When Serial started to become a huge success, I was surprised purely because I didn't realize podcasts were more than talk radio. They were something a lot of my friends actually listened to and raved about on social media. My interest rose, but I still didn't act on it, thinking nothing could top the benefits of television. But my thoughts completely changed with a single Instagram "like".

One day I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw one friend liked an image from the Instagram handle @GilmoreGuys. I was very intrigued! Gilmore Guys? What was that?

I am a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I own all seven seasons on DVD and have seen each episode 8-10 times, including the binge watch I completed when the series came to Netflix. But I had never heard of the Gilmore Guys. I clicked the handle and learned it was a podcast about two guys, Kevin and Demi, going through every single episode of Gilmore Girls!

Gilmore_Guys

The next day at work, I found the Gilmore Guys online, and saw they that they had been recording for over a year. They were in the middle of season 5, but I wanted to start at the beginning. I scrolled down to the first episode and clicked play. When that episode was done, I played the next, and then the next, and the next, and so on…

I was hooked! I would get into work and immediately throw in my headphones and listening to the Gilmore Guys. I didn't quite realize it at the time, but I was full-on binging this podcast!

The best part of binging a podcast versus binging a television show is the lack of visuals. When binging a TV show, my eyes need to be one the TV so I don't miss a thing, making it very difficult to get anything else done. But with a podcast, I could complete a fully day's work and not miss a minute!

It didn't take long for this to feel like a race. A race I was familiar with from Netflix and Hulu. The goal: catch-up! Catch-up so I can enjoy the new episodes as they roll out. I had a year to catch-up on, and the Gilmore Guys were releasing two new episodes a week. It did take some time, but I finally did it! But my proudness was quickly washed away from an all too familiar feeling. The feeling you get after you've spent weeks binging a show you've finally caught up on. An odd sense of loss, similar to losing a security blanket. So I did what any normal person would do; I found another podcast to binge.

This pattern has continued. I've have binged a few podcasts and I keep finding new ones to explore. Because of this experience and what I have discovered, I don't have the tolerance for binging television shows Like I could before. As millennial as it sounds, binging a TV show is a time-consuming commitment. A commitment where my butt doesn't move and my stomach gets filled with candy. But with a podcast, I work out, run errands, and clean the house, among so many other tasks.

The Gilmore Guys (and the hosts of my other favorite podcasts) have become an important part of my weekly routine. So thank you to the hosts for making dull jobs better, work outs enjoyable, and traffic jams bearable!

What is your favorite podcast? I'd love to hear some new suggestions!

As always, thank you for reading! Helen

Below are come of my favorite podcasts:

image cred: Gilmore Guys Show